Prague ranks in top tier of 100 cities globally for local food

The capital was ranked in the top 20 cities worldwide to taste local cuisine, which includes svíčková and tlačenka.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 09.05.2023 15:30:00 (updated on 09.05.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague is the 17th-best city in the world to try local food, according to a comprehensive 100-city study by online food guide TasteAtlas.

To calculate the world’s best cities for tasting local food, TasteAtlas used its existing data to combine the average online ratings of a city's best local and national dishes with the average Google rating of the best traditional restaurants in the area.

The Czech capital came above the likes of Vienna, Thessaloniki, Istanbul, and Madrid in the ranking. Impressively, it is the highest-ranked city in the whole Central and Eastern Europe region. 

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Mixed rankings

Czech cuisine, which some say is rather "heavy" in carbohydrates and meat, was ranked by TasteAtlas as the 22nd-best cuisine in a 50-country list last year. It also ranked as the 13th-best cuisine in the whole of Europe (out of 41 countries), coming ahead of Bulgaria and Ukraine. 

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The food guide’s ranking is a lot kinder than the one published just three months ago, which put rýžový nákyp (rice pudding) and rybí polévka (fish soup) in the top 30 worst dishes in the world.  

Look further than fried cheese, says expert cook

In a recent interview, award-winning Czech chef Marek Fichtner spoke highly of real, “authentic” Czech cuisine, and urged people to “experience traditional cuisine like it was many years ago” in addition to just trying modern Czech dishes.

Despite TasteAtlas citing fried cheese in its study as being among the top local foods that visitors should try, Fichtner has advised people to steer clear of the dish. In his eyes, modern Czech cuisine is getting lighter.

Jellied pork and sweet pastries

TasteAtlas also recommended trying svíčková (a tenderloin dish served with a creamy sauce and dumpling), tlačenka (a meat dish made from jellied pork and offal), and Czech-style goulash. It also mentioned the classic, one-slice chlebíček sandwich that is often eaten with salami, egg slices, and cheese. In its list of iconic food places, TasteAtlas recommended Café Imperial, Naše Maso, U Matěje (all Prague 1), and U Kroka (Prague 2).

In a separate study evaluating Czech foods, TasteAtlas listed knedlíky (dumplings), koláče typical Czech sweet pastries), and řízky (Czech-style escalopes) in its top-10 list of most popular Czech dishes.

Although more well-known for its rich history and impressive architecture, Prague’s high ranking in the global TasteAtlas index signifies the quality of Czech food – and may tempt more people to try it.

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